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Thursday, 20 September 2001
Page: 27517


Senator PATTERSON (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Foreign Affairs) (1:24 PM) —The Health and Other Services (Compensation) Legislation Amendment Bill 2001 proposes to amend the Health and Other Services (Compensation) Care Charges Act 1995 and the Health and Other Services (Compensation) Act 1995. The acts were passed to ensure that, when plaintiffs go to court to recover damages for personal injuries, they would repay to the Commonwealth the cost of any Medicare residential care benefits received because of their injury.

As has already been outlined in the other house, the bill arises from a review of the acts undertaken for the government by the former Commissioner for Superannuation, Mr George Pooley. He found that the compensation recovery program governed by the acts had proved cumbersome and burdensome for all parties, and he made a number of recommendations to improve these processes. These new arrangements will be simpler and more efficient and will keep impositions on claimants to a minimum. Simpler claiming and administrative processes will allow the speedier release of final compensation settlements or judgments and will reduce the worry and red tape for recipients and their families. I commend the bill to the chamber.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill read a second time, and passed through its remaining stages without amendment or debate.